Diet Plan Review: Best Ways to Lose Weight

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Dan Marino
I was very happy to find this website. Each food is assigned points based on its serving size, calories, fiber, and fat; and no foods are forbidden. After doing a little research, I decided it was right for me and decided to sign up. Lehman is long gone, but the economic rot lingers. That said, I would definitely suggest using the Nutrisystem counseling service for full clarification, though — especially for questions 2 and 3.

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Three are support-only plans that don't require you to buy their food, and five are food-delivery plans.

We interviewed leading nutritionists and weight-loss professionals, pored through clinical studies, and tallied up membership fees and food costs to determine the ones most likely to help you slim down and to see how much you'd pay to drop 20 pounds. Our favorite for value and efficacy is Weight Watchers , designed to help you change your eating habits for good.

Nutrisystem is the least expensive meal delivery plan we reviewed Medifast is cheaper, but you have to provide one meal a day on your own. And the silver-spoon award undoubtedly goes to In The Zone Delivery , a white-glove service for people who'll spare no expense to drop the pounds. Here's how the plans stack up. See the handy chart at the bottom of the page for a side-by-side comparison. The oldest national weight-loss program, its members rave about the encouragement they get at weekly meetings led by former Weight Watchers dieters.

Nutritionists praise the portion-control points system: Each food is assigned points based on its serving size, calories, fiber, and fat; and no foods are forbidden. Your point allowance is based on your weight, height, gender, age, and activity level.

A recent clinical study in the New England Journal of Medicine linked group counseling sessions to weight-loss success. That explains why Weight Watchers has impressive short-term results. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed participants lost an average of about 5 percent of their body weight 10 pounds in six months. Two years later, they had kept about half the weight off. To help members stay on track, Weight Watchers encourages them to attend meetings until they've stayed within 2 pounds of their goal weight for six weeks.

After that, you get free lifetime membership. The company says members using its online tools in addition to attending meetings lost 50 percent more weight than those going to meetings alone.

Cost to lose 20 pounds: We looked at two plans from eDiets - one that offers support alone, and another with meal delivery. You can choose from among more than 20 diet plans, including ones for diabetics and vegetarians. Online tools let you set goals, plan menus and generate shopping lists. There's no face-to-face support, but you get support through online message boards and a mentor program that connects newbies with an experienced member. Also, you can reach a registered dietitian or personal trainer by phone at any time.

The optional meal delivery service offers freshly prepared, calorie-controlled meals delivered by FedEx. But telephone support has some evidence in its favor: Yes, it's a bargain for round-the-clock support. For about the same money, other services offer better track records. For the first two weeks, you eat three extremely low-carb meals a day plus mandatory snacks. After that, you gradually add "good carbs," such as fruits and whole grains.

You can customize menus, search a database of more than 1, recipes and get a personalized shopping list. There's online support from staff dieticians and members plus daily motivational emails. Studies have shown that after one year, carb-restricted diets led to greater weight loss and increased heart health than low-fat diets. However, the advantage disappeared over the long term. How much can you expect to lose? Figure on 8 to 13 pounds during the two- week kick-start phase, then 1 to 2 pounds a week thereafter.

It doesn't cost much, but you don't get as much support as with Weight Watchers or eDiets. The Zone diet is mostly meat, fruits, and vegetables.

You eat three meals per day plus two Zone protein-powder snacks. A study of people in the Journal of American Medical Association found the Zone diet helped people achieve modest weight loss after one year, comparable with those on the Atkins , Weight Watchers and Ornish diets, and improved cardiac risk factors.

Premium-priced Jenny Craig lets you order its heart-healthy, nutritionally balanced packaged food by phone and pick it up at a Jenny Craig center or have it delivered through Jenny Direct. You eat three Jenny Craig meals plus a snack per day, and supplement with fruit, vegetables and dairy.

Once a week, you get a weigh-in and pep talk with a consultant - who is not a dietician and who earns commissions from selling you products. There's also round-the-clock phone support. Jenny Craig has a good track record for short-term weight loss up to one year. In a UC San Diego clinical trial of dieters funded by Jenny Craig , Jenny Craig clients lost 11 percent of their initial weight after 12 months, compared with 3 percent weight loss by those who were dieting on their own.

The "doctor-designed" Bistro M. The price is a cut above the competition, too. The plan tries to help you avoid a weight-loss stall out by varying the daily calorie intake between 1, and 1, By eating a little more some days and a little less on others, you'll supposedly prevent your body from becoming used to the same number of calories every day.

While no university studies support the theory that varying caloric intake aids weight loss, the high quality of the food and the relatively large portion sizes have been praised by Health magazine, Dr. Phil and The New York Times. Some plan users have complained of a lack of choices and menu flexibility compared to other plans, but a company spokesman says they offer more than entrees and can make substitutions to accommodate allergies and food preferences.

It's a reasonable price for well-made food with slightly faster average weight loss than with Jenny Craig. This meal-delivery service, endorsed by Marie Osmond and Dan Marino, emphasizes foods with a low glycemic index. The underlying premise is that controlling blood sugar levels leads to weight loss.

The heat-and-eat prepared meals and snacks contain roughly 55 percent "good" carbs, 25 percent protein, and 20 percent fats; like Jenny Craig, you add fruits, vegetables and dairy. Support is available through phone counseling and online chat rooms. There's plenty of research showing that following a diet of 1, to 1, calories a day, such as Nutrisystem, can cause weight loss. For example, a study by the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital in New York found that postmenopausal women who followed a 1,calorie plan for 16 weeks lost an average of 21 pounds.

For a meal-delivery diet system, Nutrisystem is more economical than Jenny Craig. Although today's program is not as stringent as the original liquid fast Medifast launched decades ago, the low-fat, relatively low-carb plan is designed to bring about rapid weight loss by coaxing your body into a "fat-burning state" known as ketosis. The 70 meal replacement choices include shakes, bars, soups, pudding, oatmeal, chili, pretzel sticks, cheese puffs, and scrambled eggs.

Regis Catholic Elementary School. He was drafted in the 4th round by the Kansas City Royals in the amateur draft, but decided to play college football instead. Marino attended the University of Pittsburgh , and played for the university's Pittsburgh Panthers football team from to Pitt's Marino-led team finished No. Following the regular season , Marino led the Panthers, who had been ranked No. Marino later cited this as the most memorable pass he'd thrown in his college career.

The Pitt football team's fortunes and Marinos's statistics dipped during his senior year , which saw the team transition from head coach Jackie Sherrill to new coach Foge Fazio , culminating in a 7—3 loss in the Cotton Bowl Classic to Southern Methodist University and their "Pony Express" of Eric Dickerson and Craig James.

Marino finished ninth in voting for the Heisman Trophy in , after finishing fourth the previous year. Marino's selection status in the NFL Draft plummeted after his weaker senior season at Pitt, [12] and rumors of recreational drug use.

Bill Hillgrove , who was with the Marino family on draft day, later recalled that when the New York Jets selected O'Brien, Marino "became visibly ill". Opinion was divided on the wisdom of the team's decision; Chris Berman said that the Dolphins' head coach Don Shula was "the best", but Paul Zimmerman was skeptical of the coaching staff's ability to help Marino "overcome the problems he's had".

Shula later said that being passed up by so many teams "motivated [Marino] to show everybody else what a mistake that they had made. Marino and Miami lost that game 38—35 in overtime. As a rookie, Marino set several records: The Dolphins finished the season with a record and advanced to the AFC divisional playoffs, where Marino threw two touchdown passes in his playoff debut.

However, he also threw two interceptions as the team lost to the Seattle Seahawks , In his second season, Marino broke six NFL full-season passing records, including the records for most touchdown passes 48, surpassed by Peyton Manning in and most passing yards 5,, surpassed by Drew Brees in , and was selected as the NFL's Most Valuable Player.

The Dolphins finished with a 14—2 regular season record, clinching home-field advantage for the playoffs. In the Divisional round, the Dolphins avenged their playoff loss of the previous season to Seattle Seahawks 31—10 behind Marino's passing yards and 3 touchdowns.

Both records still stand as of [update]. The Dolphins, who had 74 rushing attempts in the previous two weeks, ran the ball only eight times in this game.

Marino finished with 29 completions out of 50 attempts for yards, throwing one touchdown pass and two interceptions. The Dolphins lost 38—16 in what was Marino's only Super Bowl appearance. Marino led the league in yards and touchdown passes and was named first team All-Pro in On September 7, , 8 days shy of his 25th birthday, Marino threw his th touchdown pass in a 50—28 loss at San Diego.

Marino accomplished that feat in just 44 games- the fastest in NFL history. In that season Marino threw for 4, yards and 44 touchdowns.

Marino again led the league in yards and touchdown passes and was named first team All-Pro for the third consecutive year. In , Marino threw for 4, yards and 28 touchdowns. As a result of his 4, yards passing, Marino became the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4, or more yards in four different seasons.

Marino had been tied with Dan Fouts for the most 4, yard passing seasons with three. His 4, passing yards led the entire NFL and marked the fifth time in his NFL career that he led the league in passing yards. In , Miami was strongly favored at the start of the year to make it back to the AFC championship game and possibly the Super Bowl. However, after throwing a swing pass at a game in Cleveland, Marino, who was untouched on the play, crumpled to the ground in pain with a torn Achilles tendon and was out for the season.

Marino later said, "I felt like I got kicked". Steve DeBerg started the last 4 games of the season. Mitchell signed a free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions , and Miami signed veteran quarterback Bernie Kosar from the Dallas Cowboys as a backup. Wearing a special shoe on one foot, and having a right calf that was visibly atrophied, Marino was the starting quarterback at the opening of the season.

In the season opener, a home game versus the New England Patriots and quarterback Drew Bledsoe , the two quarterbacks put up a combined yards Marino, yards; Bledsoe, yards and nine passing touchdowns Marino, 5; Bledsoe, 4 , with Miami winning 39— Later in the season, Marino led a comeback win on the road against the New York Jets 28—24 , a game famous for Marino's execution of a fake spike for the winning touchdown pass, a play known as " The Clock Play ".

After missing the post-season in , Miami came back to the playoffs in Three touchdown passes by Marino in the first half allowed the Dolphins to lead 21—6, before the Chargers staged a comeback and took the lead toward the end of the fourth quarter. In the final moments of the game, Marino tried to set up a good position for a field goal, but with little time left at the Chargers' yard line, Pete Stoyanovich was forced to attempt a yard field goal.

Stoyanovich missed, ending the game with a 22—21 loss for Miami. He suffered a hip injury in week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts and was replaced by Bernie Kosar in the following two games. In terms of scoring, Buffalo held a wide lead throughout the game. The Dolphins remained scoreless until the fourth quarter, when they scored 22 points, which included two touchdown passes from Marino.

However, Miami fell well short of a comeback and lost 37— Marino's final win was his first playoff road win and his 36th comeback win, as the Dolphins defeated the Seattle Seahawks 20—17 on January 9, in the final football game ever in the Seattle Kingdome. In the next round January 16 , also on the road, Marino and the Dolphins lost 62—7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Marino was replaced by backup Damon Huard after playing one series in the second half. However, he did end the first half on a high note, leading the Dolphins on an yard scoring drive and throwing a yard touchdown pass to receiver Oronde Gadsden with 20 seconds remaining.

The Jacksonville game marked the end of Jimmy Johnson 's coaching career; Johnson announced his retirement the next day. Before the season, Marino decided to retire, [32] after declining offers from Minnesota , Tampa Bay and his hometown of Pittsburgh when the Dolphins declined his option on his contract. Marino later admitted that he seriously considered the offer from the Vikings, but that he turned it down not because of his arm, but because he wasn't sure that his legs could take another season.

He also appreciated the fact that unlike many of his contemporaries, he got to play his entire career with one team. During Marino's career, the Dolphins were perennial playoff contenders, reaching the post-season in 10 of his 17 seasons.

He was selected to play in nine Pro Bowls —87, —92, —95 , seven times as a starter, but due to injuries he only played in two of the games , In , Marino was ranked 27th on The Sporting News list of the greatest football players, making him the highest-ranking Dolphins player. The only other Dolphins jersey number retired at the time was Bob Griese 's Since then 39, Larry Csonka , has been retired as well. Marino joined the Dolphins Honor Roll the same day.

In early , Marino briefly returned to the Miami Dolphins as Senior Vice President of Football Operations, but resigned from the newly created position only three weeks later, saying that the role was not in the best interest of either his family or the Dolphin organization. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame on August 7, and was introduced by his oldest son, Daniel. During his induction speech, Dan threw "one last pass" to former teammate Mark Clayton , who was sitting in the audience.

On August 24, , Marino announced he would return to the Dolphins as a special adviser. The team chose rookie driver Jerry Nadeau to pilot the car at the start of the season; he was later released and the team went through a rotation of drivers. The team failed to qualify for several races, but did post a top-5 finish at Phoenix International Raceway late in the season with Ted Musgrave driving.

The team only lasted the season and closed afterward. The Dan Marino Foundation was established in by Marino and his wife, Claire, after their son, Michael, was diagnosed with autism. The Dan Marino Center, which opened in along with the Miami Children's Hospital, is an integrated neurodevelopmental center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of children at risk for developmental and psychological problems.

The center saw more than 48, children last year alone. Marino has teamed with other celebrities to raise awareness about autism spectrum disorders , including fellow NFL quarterback Doug Flutie , whose son also has an autism diagnosis. On November 7, , the National Basketball Association 's Miami Heat honored Marino's charitable works and recognized his service to South Florida with a halftime tribute, as well as a large donation to the Marino Foundation.

Over walkers participated, as well as volunteers provided by the Miami Dolphins Special Teams. Marino acted in the comedy Ace Ventura: He worked as a project consultant on Oliver Stone 's Any Given Sunday , and some observers noticed a resemblance between him and Dennis Quaid 's character, Jack Rooney. Marino is currently featured in advertisement campaigns for Hooters , NutriSystem weight loss programs, [45] Maroone , Papa John's , Nutrasource.

In April , Marino became the AARP's "Men's Life Ambassador", through which he planned to share his point of view and expertise on a variety of men's interests, including health, fitness, sports, lifestyle, entrepreneurship, aging and community service, primarily through the website.

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